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91st Giro d'Italia - Rest Day
By Staff
Date: 5/20/2008
91st Giro d'Italia - Rest Day

91st Giro d'Italia - Rest Day
Rest day comments and Injury List

Giro rest day one -
Riccardo Riccò at the press conference

Meanwhile, in Italy, the 91st Giro d´Italia had its first rest day today, and SAUNIER DUVAL-SCOTT held a press conference drawing many different media. The leader of the yellow squad, Riccardo Riccò, said he was optimistic for the rest of the Italian Grand Tour, whose stage ten tomorrow will be a 39-kilometre ITT from Pesaro and Urbino.

These are some of "La Cobra"´s remarks:
 "I've improved my time-trial skills over last year, but I still don't know how it will unfold tomorrow. I'd be content with giving up to two minutes to Klöden, but then I shouldn't let Di Luca go off. Anyway, tomorrow is a decisive leg for other riders, not for me. We need riders like Savoldelli, Menchov or Leipheimer to take control of the Giro and give us climbers time.

I'm not nervous, I've scored two stage wins and there are quite a few mountain stages ahead. Even if I didn't do well tomorrow, if I came in far behind the first bunch, I'd still have a lot of legs to make up for lost time. So I have to be relaxed and take it easy. My Giro´s been perfect so far, and I´ll be on the attack if I feel fine, but I know I must give up some things if I'm interested in the GC. Am I nasty because I'm taking too many victories? Name a rider who's willing to give his victories away! When you can win, you have to win, there's no other way. Di Luca? He´s below last year's shape, or maybe I'm above. Anyway, our duel hasn't been too close. Neither of us has attacked the other one, so you can't tell who's stronger, can you?.

Injury Updates:

Astana Injury Update
Alberto Contador Has Minor Elbow Fracture

Alberto Contador’s visit to the radiologist today revealed a fissure in the radius head of his left elbow. The fracture without dislocation stems from his Stage 8 crash from Rivisondoli to Tivoli. Though Contador was able to complete the stage and yesterday’s Stage 9, the bruising and discomfort prompted a formal examination on the Giro d’Italia’s first rest day. The x-rays showed that the fracture is stable and the 2007 Tour de France Champion has been cleared to ride tomorrow’s time-trial.

“As all riders know, winning a Grand Tour takes some hard work, luck and health. Unfortunately, having a small fracture does not make the journey to Milan any easier, but I’m motivated and will try to fight through the pain,” said Contador after his afternoon training ride. “I do not intend to leave the race”, commented Alberto Contador at his return to the team hotel. “During my training ride of today, I felt my elbow, but I felt as well that I could do the normal or desired efforts. So, why should I leave the race then? Moreover, this race is one of the big cycling monuments. I am a hard one, I stay. The last days my legs felt better and better. The longer I was in the Giro, the better I felt. “

An extra problem can be that, due to the position of the injury, the aerodynamic position on the time trial bike cannot be fully obtained. “That is a problem for tomorrow”, continues Alberto Contador. “I hope I still make a good time trial. The doctors tell me that it is a small fracture. With a bit luck, I can recover a bit during the “easier” stages of Wednesday to Friday.”

Sports Director Sean Yates recognized that the first week of the Giro was quite a challenge for his Team. “After a week of crashes and Grand Tour style racing, it’s good to have this rest day. We lost Steve Morabito the other day [dislocated shoulder], the Goose [Vladimir Gusev] was banged up earlier in the week and now Alberto has a small fracture. It’s certainly not ideal for any team vying for the Maglia Rosa, but we’ll reexamine the injuries after each stage and hopefully make it to Milan with the remaining eight riders.”
Kazakh rider Assan Bazayev spent his rest day afternoon at the dentist.

CSC's McGee in Surgery Today
In agreement with the doctors at the hospital in Monaco Bradley McGee has decided to undergo surgery to have a plate placed in his shoulder in order to minimize future complications with his collar bone and to be able to recover faster.

McGee crashed during third stage of Giro d'Italia and broke his collarbone. Unlike fellow countryman and teammate Stuart O'Grady McGee's fracture was a complicated one so he has been through a lot of examinations and procedures over the last couple of days. But on Thursday the game plan was set and ready.

"I've been to the hospital today to get the results of my x-rays and stuff and we've decided that I should have an operation done on Monday to have a plate inserted in my shoulder. I'm happy about that because I've broken my collarbone before and if you just let it heal on its own you get problems with it later on so it's better to have the plate inserted. It prevents future problems and I'll be able to come back a lot quicker," says McGee, who knows what he's talking about as he already has a plate in his other shoulder.

"I can't stand up too long at the moment because it's uncomfortable because of the pain, but after the operation I think I'll be back on the home trainer Wednesday next week. I've got this special apparatus, which takes the weight off my shoulders on the home trainer so I'm able to lean forward. I've used this machine before so I know the drill," concludes McGee, who is now just waiting to see how fast he's able to get back on the road again.

McGee and O'Grady sidelined with broken collar bones
Australians Brad McGee and Stuart O'Grady have both suffered broken collar bones after two separate crashes during Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia but both believe the injuries will not derail their preparation for the Tour de France or campaigns for Olympic selection.

McGee crashed 20 kilometres from the finish and was transported by ambulance to hospital while O'Grady remounted to finish the stage before later withdrawing from the race. Both Team CSC riders will seek further medical advice. McGee, 32, has experienced a broken collar bone in the lead up to an Olympic Games before breaking his left collar bone only weeks before claiming the bronze medal in the individual pursuit in Sydney in 2000.

"This time it's my right collar bone which I last broke when I was a junior," said McGee who was on his way to catch a flight back to his European home in Monaco. "I'll limp back and get the doctors there to have a look at it."

McGee says if doctors decide to pin the break he will be back racing in a couple of weeks but otherwise it might be four weeks before he can race again. "So it's not so bad and I know the process with these sorts of injuries," said McGee admitting the injury hasn't come at the best time. "I was in super form and I was feeling fantastic," said McGee. "It was my time to 'make hay' and now I've been sat on my arse a little bit.

"Sitting in the ambulance going to hospital I was not in a good state but as soon as I cleaned up, put a sling on and stood up I thought okay that's done, let's move forward," said McGee.

O'Grady, 34, says his collar bone injury is 'a good break' and he expects to be racing again in a couple of weeks. "I've busted them all a few times (collar bones) and this one is a good break if you can call it that," said O'Grady. "I got to the finish on pure adrenalin and then it kicked in (realised he was injured) but I should be back training in a few days."

He too expressed frustration at another injury setback. In 2007 he suffered major injuries including multiple rib fractures, a punctured lung and broken right shoulder in a crash during the Tour de France but recovered and returned to racing. "It's just bad luck and there's nothing you can do about it," he said. "Some guys just make stupid mistakes and ride like idiots and when they go down they take you with them and you can't do anything about it.

"I keep coming back from these things - it's like a little challenge," said O'Grady. "Everything happens for a reason because each time I come back bigger and better. "It's frustrating because my form was great and I was feeling good," he said. "I was looking forward to riding it (Giro) but will now go back to the original plan of (Tours of) Luxemburg and Switzerland then the team training camp before the Tour (de France).

"I still don't know what the Olympics hold for me and I won't know until end of June," said O'Grady noting the time line for Cycling Australia to nominate cyclists to the Australian Olympic Committee who will select the cycling team for Beijing.

O'Grady has represented Australia on the track at the past four Olympic Games claiming one gold, one silver and two bronze medals. McGee has contested three Olympic Games for Australia claiming one gold, one silver and three bronze medals in track events.
Cycling Australia website

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